USA Today Examines New Heart Medications
USA Today on Monday examined "the next frontier" in cardiology, in which researchers have begun to test new medications that seek to reduce the amount of plaque in the arteries through increased levels of HDL, or "good" cholesterol, which "hauls fat from the artery wall to the liver for excretion." According to USA Today, traditional heart medications such as Lipitor and other statins reduce levels of LDL, or "bad," cholesterol.
However, they reduce heart attack and stroke risk only by 30% to 40% and cannot reverse artery disease. According to USA Today, the new heart medications represent "the richest potential market in medicine," in part because previous research has found that only exercise and high doses of the vitamin niacin can increase HDL cholesterol levels.
Pharmaceutical companies that have begun to develop such medications include Pfizer, Roche, Lipid Sciences, Merck and Bruin Pharmaceuticals (Sternberg , USA Today, 1/9).
In related news, USA Today on Monday also examined the nine primary factors that affect heart health.
The factors are levels of HDL and LDL cholesterol, diabetes, psychosocial stress, abdominal obesity, smoking, high blood pressure, alcohol, exercise, and consumption of fruits and vegetables (Sternberg , USA Today, 1/9).